Talk:The Sword of Shannara

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Good articleThe Sword of Shannara has been listed as one of the Language and literature good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
July 11, 2008Good article nomineeListed
August 14, 2008Peer reviewReviewed
August 31, 2008Featured article candidateNot promoted
September 23, 2008Featured article candidateNot promoted
September 26, 2008Peer reviewReviewed
June 1, 2014Good article reassessmentKept
Current status: Good article
WikiProject Novels / Fantasy (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
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  1. April 2005 – November 2007

Paragraph removal[edit]

Hi, I've removed the following paragraph from the article's "Literary significance" section, partly because of WP:NOR concerns, and partly because similar material from secondary sources have been found and incorporated into the section. However, I think some of this paragraph's material may be of use in the future, so I've left it here.

--DanDs (talk) 20:39, 6 June 2008 (UTC)


The following is a list of reviews by notable commentators. As I am unable to access these reviews, future editors are welcome to do so and update this article's reception section with relevant material. In accordance with WP:NPOV, please do not rely on blurbs or other promotional material for their selective quotations of these reviews.

  • Brown, Charles N. (1977). "Review: The Sword of Shannara". Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (Fall 1977): 143-?. More info.
  • Budrys, Algis (July 1977). "Review: The Sword of Shannara". The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. 53 (1): 103-?. More info.
  • Geis, Richard E. (May 1977). "Review: The Sword of Shannara". Science Fiction Review. 6 (2): 63-?. More info.

*Herbert, Frank (10 April 1977). "Some Arthur, Some Tolkien". The New York Times Book Review (10 April 1977): BR7. More info.

Other reviews in relevant genre magazines include:

--DanDs (talk) 05:51, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

A few more:
"THE SWORD OF SHANNARA (Book)". Atlantic Monthly (May 1977), Vol. 239 Issue 5, p100
"The Sword Of Shannara.(Book Review)". The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

(July 1977): p103.

"The Sword Of Shannara.(Book Review)". Publishers Weekly (Jan 24, 1977): p328.
-talk- the_ed17 [[Special:Contributions/the_ed17|-contribs-]] 01:57, 25 September 2008 (UTC)


Hi, I've removed the following material because they are based on self-published sources by non-notable writers. However, I've also managed to replace them with alternative material from Gene Wolfe and David Pringle.

and his supporters, such as Laurie Thayer, point out that many of the similarities are broad concepts common in modern day fantasy literature.

Additionally, the plot of Brooks' subsequent novels bear little resemblance to Tolkien's works (apart from elements shared by many novels in the genre). "There's no doubt Sword borrows heavily from LOTR, but Brooks has proved his originality and versatility in his later novels."[2]


--DanDs (talk) 08:02, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:The Sword of Shannara/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

This article is very good in its current state however there are still a few problems with the article.

  • The background/development section needs to go before the plot summary.
  • Reduce the plot and remove any unnecessary information about the story. This should be a plot summary.
  • Use the proper license tag to go with the fair use rational for each image.

When these issues are resolved feel free to contact me on my talk page. If you feel that this review was in error feel free to take the article to WP:GA/R. Thanks. Tarret talk 14:52, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

As recommended above, I've moved the Background section before the plot summary. --DanDs (talk) 17:37, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Which license is the correct one? The non-free rationale's are enough, right? So just remove the book covefr lisecnes? ? the_ed17 01:26, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I've added the license tag Template:Non-free 2D art to these images used in the article:
--DanDs (talk) 05:27, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

OK thats improved a bit now the only thing that needs to be done is the plot intro should be merged with the plot summary as background information to the plot. This should make the article a bit closer to WP:FICTION as it should be more built around the development and reception of the story instead of the plot. It should be fine after that. Tarret talk 13:32, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I'll do that now. Thank you, DanDs! the_ed17 20:31, 11 July 2008 (UTC)


I've just discovered a problem with these three images:

They are not official book illustrations, but non-official fan art which has been copyrighted and whose creator has prohibited non-personal usage. If images are required for fair-use commentary, it might be better to replace them with relevant selections from the official Hildebrandt Brothers book illustrations instead. Although they are also copyrighted, they are officially "part" of the novel, so it would be a) easier to justify their inclusion for fair-use commentary, and b) more accurate as a reflection of the novel's original content. --DanDs (talk) 08:49, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I e-mailed the creator, and he would not release the images into the public domain (understandably). So, I tagged them as fair-use due to my belief that they are not replaceable by even the Hildebrandt illustrations--they would be black and white and not up to the quality of the images listed above...also, they are official--the top of the page reads thusly: "This gallery is dedicated to the works of author Terry Brooks (with permission), I have tried to capture some of the imagery inspired by the first series of Shannara books." (bolding added). I believe this means that Terry Brooks endorses them, making them quite "accurate as a reflection of the novel's original content". the_ed17 20:28, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Query re: Third introductory paragraph[edit]

Is 'critical acclaim' or 'critical disdain' of a living author's work equivalent to a 'biographical claim'? If so, then the paragraph,

while adhering to the WP:NPOV, seems like a candidate for [citation needed]

Am I off base? Tyllannon (talk) 02:25, 4 October 2011 (UTC)


Who is routinely blanking this stuff? Is this constructive? Enthdegree (talk) 02:09, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Sources for claims in the plot summaries[edit]

Per WP:BRD, I have Reverted the Bold removal of a number of requests for citations from the article by User:The ed17. Let's start the discussion.

WP:V is core policy, and neither plot summaries nor any other part of the encyclopedia get a pass from verifiability policy. Moreover, the part of WP:V that relates to original research does not condone editors writing up such summaries on their own. Attention to reliable secondary sources is as important for WP:Plot summaries as it is for other content in the mainspace.

In this case, someone has challenged a number of claims in the article, and the requests for sources for those claims should not be removed without the sources being added. N2e (talk) 02:18, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi. I am impressed by the number of polices that you can link to, but if you could read Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction)#Plot summaries and Wikipedia:How to write a plot summary#Citations, I'd be much obliged. As per that link, and long-standing convention in novel and film articles, I have removed your {{cn}}s yet again, and I would ask you to consider previous consensus in readding them to any plot summary. I will be happy to start an RfC on the matter at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Writing about fiction if you do not recognize this (and I have left a message there, to be sure), but I believe consensus will be against you. Thanks, Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 03:51, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • See WP:PSTS: "A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the source but without further, specialized knowledge. For example, an article about a novel may cite passages to describe the plot, but any interpretation needs a secondary source." -- Wikipedical (talk) 05:22, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Hey Wikipedical. The problem here is that those sections that had been challenged have no citation support whatsoever, not even a primary source citation is given. N2e (talk) 05:36, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
They don't need a source; it is presumed that they are from the work itself. If we go beyond that, interpreting the plot rather than summarizing it, we would need a source. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 05:40, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
I would tend to side with Ed here. See the plot summary of Featured Article To Kill a Mockingbird. A straightforward description of plot is presumed to come from the primary source itself. I will agree, however, that inline citations noting the chapter/page number is still preferable. -- Wikipedical (talk) 05:47, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Been asked to comment here, and while its been a loooooong time since I read this book and I can't commentary directly on the plot, what ed17 and Wikipedical say is true: unless there's novel interpretation of the work's plot, we assume that the work itself is implicitly the source for plot summaries. There's no need for citations here (though, optionally, they can help, but are definitely not required). --MASEM (t) 05:49, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Well, it seems odd that plot summaries would get a pass and somehow not be covered by WP:OR and WP:V. That being said, I agree with TheEd17 that, with a consensus to leave citations off of plot summaries here on this article Talk page, the place to resolve that issue will be elsewhere, and not on this Talk page.

I do, however, think that the tags should have been left in the article, per WP:BRD, during the discussion and consensus building on this Talk page, and that it was an act of not assuming good faith for the editor who continued to revert back to his quite-recent changes while the consensus was being built.

But for my part, with respect to plot summaries on this article, I will yield to the consensus. Cheers. N2e (talk) 05:52, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Well, I'd argue that you've been told that citations are not needed for plot summaries anywhere on Wikipedia, not just on this article, but I'm not going to get into another debate. :-) Also, I realize that I could have been much less aggressive here. My apologies. Ed [talk] [majestic titan]

Good Article reassessment[edit]

I have requested a community-based reassessment of the Good Article quality rating given to this article in 2008. The discussion is here: Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/The Sword of Shannara/1. Cheers. N2e (talk) 04:28, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Allanon source[edit]

[1] [2] Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 01:37, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

"two major plots"[edit]

I just finished TSoS and I disagree that the story about Balinor being ousted by his insane brother is a major plot. A sub-plot at best (and one that left me distinctly skeptical of Balinor's intelligence - who abandons his old father to a crazy younger brother [with a Wormtongue-ish advisor] who wants to replace you?) It only appears late in the story. --Richardson mcphillips (talk) 14:55, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Thayer, Laurie. "The Sword of Shannara book review at arts magazine". Retrieved 2008-06-25.
  2. ^ "Recommended Reading: Terry Brooks". Speculative Horizons. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-26.